DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY (DT)

We believe DT stimulates children's creativity and imagination, through problem solving and the production of quality products. Our children design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Through evaluation of past and present design technology in action, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

We aim to ensure through the DT curriculum that all children develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. We want them to build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. They learn to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others, to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and to learn how to cook.

DT is taught as three extended two-day or three-day units a year, from Year 1 to Year 6. The three units cover food and nutrition; textiles; and movement and mechanisms. Each term our children learn DT skills and processes in order to produce a product. 

Whilst DT is taught as an individual subject, strong cross curricular links are made ensuring that our termly projects serve to enrich the children's learning within other subjects and topics being taught that term.

The core skills taught as part of our DT curriculum are:

  • Design: Through research, our children are taught to design purposeful, functional and appealing products for themselves and other users based on a given design criteria. They generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing increasingly complex diagrams, using templates, mock-ups and prototypes. They learn techniques for selecting and refining ideas, and creating design plans. 
  • Make: Our children are given the opportunity to select from and use a range of tools, equipment, materials and ingredients to perform practical tasks with increasing accuracy taking into account functional properties and aesthetic qualities.  Children learn and practise key practical skills, and refine these skills during making.
  • Evaluate: All DT projects involve exploring and evaluating a range of existing products. This help them understand the context for their design, including for example an appreciation of user specifications and preferences. Throughout the process of producing their outcome, they are taught to evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria and amend as necessary.  They identify success and improvement points, and evaluate their skills as well as the outcomes of the project.
  • Technical knowledge: Our curriculum is progressive and ensures our children’s skills and technical knowledge are developed year on year throughout their school experience. Our children’s technical knowledge is learnt through building structures - exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable; exploring how to use mechanical systems such as levers, sliders, wheels, gears and axles and use electrical systems in their products.  Each design unit has a clear brief which may have a link to another area of the curriculum or may stand alone. The technical skills related to the unit are either built upon and applied from  prior units or taught specifically before the design process begins. For example, accurate measurement and sawing technique would be taught before creating a moving vehicle. 

We are proud that:

  • Our DT blocks of two or three days enable designs to be developed effectively, as children can really get 'stuck in' to their projects.
  • We have a range of really exciting, relevant projects in every year group.
  • We have developed links with a local pizza restaurant who provide a real context for a "pizza project" in Year 3. The creator of the most appropriately designed pizza in each class is given the opportunity to make a professional version of their pizza under the expert guidance of the pizza chef in the restaurant itself!
  • Year 6 children design and make replica World War 2 shelters, culminating in an exciting competition to assess the shelters against the design brief criteria. The sturdiest, most waterproof product is claimed as the winner and displayed for all to see.